Locomotive Engineers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Locomotive Engineers career information
pros and cons of being a Locomotive Engineer

Locomotive Engineers

drive electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas-turbine-electric locomotives to transport passengers or freight. Interpret train orders, electronic or manual signals, and railroad rules and regulations.

$66920
Salary
61%
Job Satisfaction
Easy
Becoming One
Declining
Job Growth
Suitable Personality

Locomotive Engineers

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and More


In this career summary, you will find out what the job of a Locomotive Engineer is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.



Job description

Locomotive Engineers drive electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas-turbine-electric locomotives to transport passengers or freight. Interpret train orders, electronic or manual signals, and railroad rules and regulations.


    Read more about what does a Locomotive Engineer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.




    Become one

    schools for Locomotive Engineers

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    Salary

    Average salary
    $66920 per year

    Average hourly wage
    $32 per hour


    Locomotive Engineers with little to no experience tend to make between $46200 and $54630 while the more experienced ones can earn over $79460 per year.

    Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
    WA$41$85,160
    WY$39$80,610
    CA$39$80,330
    SD$37$77,640
    NY$37$77,150

    One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Locomotive Engineer is to move to a higher paying state like WA. Right now, the highest paying states for Locomotive Engineers are WA, WY, CA, SD and NY.

    However a higher pay at WA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at WA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

    Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Locomotive Engineer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for.



    Requirements

    Recommended degree level
    High School Diploma (or GED)

    We asked other Locomotive Engineers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by a Post-Secondary Certificate.

    Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

    Railroad and Railway Transportation

    Read more about how to become a Locomotive Engineer and the degree, training and education you need.



    Pros and Cons

    Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Locomotive Engineer.

    PROS
    Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
    Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
    This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.
    It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
    CONS
    Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
    Demand for this career is declining
    Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)



    What is the job like

    Job satisfaction
    61%

    Is this job meaningful
    47%


    61% of Locomotive Engineers said they were satisfied with their job and 47% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.



    Is this right for me

    Best personality for this career
    The Builders and The Organizers


    You can read more about these career personality types here.

    People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

    They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.



    How we can help

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